Large Blister Pearls Comparison

Large blister pearls -Pearl of Allah replica & Pearl of Elias.

Two giant pearls, the Pearl of Allah or Pearl of Lao-Tzu, the largest pearl on record and the unknown, Pearl of Elias, which is possibly the world's second largest known pearl, or the maybe the largest "attached" blister pearl, are paralleled with similarities.

Kari with Pearl of Elias & Pearl of Allah Replica
Kari with Pearl of Elias & Pearl of Allah Replica

Origin of these Large Blister Pearls

First off, both of these pearls originated in the Tridacna Gigas or giant clam which can be found in a vast area between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. See a fact sheet. These giant clams which can grow to immense size, up to 4' in length and up to 500 pounds and yes, can grow non-nacreous pearls. These giant clams, while often sought after for the meat by local natives, also were once popular exports (they made great bird baths and conversation pieces), but are now on endangered species lists.

Kari's Hands Around Pearl of Elias
Kari's Hands Around Pearl of Elias

The abductor muscle flesh of the giant clam is a sought after delicacy, butgetting meat from a TridacnaGigas is tricky. An opened clam can shut it's jaws not allowing himself to be butchered, so a strong stick is used to prop open the bivalve while the meat is extracted. According to National Geographic these clams close slowly, however, rarely posing a danger for the diver of being trapped in one.

Color & Type of these Large Blister Pearls

Because these two pearls are from the same type of clam, the color and porcelain-like, non-nacreous surface are the same. (The Pearl of Allah in these photos is a replica, plus, these photos were taken in different lighting, etc, accounting for the difference in color in my photos.)

Natural Blister Pearls
Large Blister Pearls

The Pearl of Elias, having grown at the hinge of the clam, has brown on it which is part of the hinge cartilage, or whatever the technical name might be for that stuff, but I think you know what I mean. Slitted areas in the front also show brown. It's my understanding that the brown could be cleaned off.

Large Blister Pearls

Both the Pearl of Allah and the Pearl of Elias are blister pearls....pearls that have grown attached to the shell itself. The Pearl of Allah has been cut out of its shell, while the Pearl of Elias remains in its virgin state, still attached to its TridacnaGigas mother shell at the hinge. To some it is a surprise to learn that the Pearl of Allah is a blister pearl. Most photos of this pearl show the front side. Have you ever seen what the back looks like?

Pearl of Allah Replica Back View
Pearl of Allah Replica Back View

Well, this is the back side of a replica, which clearly shows it has been cut off the shell, revealing the growth rings. The fact that the Pearl of Allah is a blister pearl has also been confirmed to me from reliable sources.

Weight of these Large Blister Pearls

The Pearl of Allah and the Pearl of Elias are comparable in weight, with the Pearl of Allah weighing 6.4K or 14.1 pounds and since the Pearl of Elias has not been cut out its exact weight is not known, but a shell expert has estimated its weight at 9 kilos (19.84 pounds) considering the fact that much of the pearl is embedded below the visible surface. Please don't get excited and say I am claiming the Pearl of Elias to be larger. I'm only quoting an expert who gave an educated guess and that's all it is.....a guess.

Size of these Large Blister Pearls

Although the two pearls are different shapes, their mass is comparable. The dimensions of the Pearl of Allah, which is about the size of a man's head are 9.4" (238 cm) length.

Pearl of Allah Length
Pearl of Allah Length

Pearl of Allah Width
Pearl of Allah Width

Pearl of Allah Circumference Length
Pearl of Allah Circumference Length

Pearl of Allah Circumference Width
Pearl of Allah Circumference Width

The measurable dimensions of the Pearl of Elias are top diameters: 6.69" (17cm) and 7.48" (19 cm); over the top diameters from where it emerges from shell: 11" (28 cm) & 14.56" (37 cm); vertical height: 7" (18 cm); with the exposed circumference being that of a small lady's waistline at 23" (58.42 cm).

Pearl of Elias Circumference is 23"

Pearl of Elias Over the Top Measurement
Pearl of Elias Over the Top Measurement

Pearl of Elias Diameter
Pearl of Elias Diameter

It is difficult to get measurements from an irregular object such as an attached pearl, but we, my husband and I, did our best. As stated above, much of the Pearl of Elias' mass is still buried beneath the surface making total exact measurements impossible to determine.

Shape of these Large Blister Pearls

Although the shapes of the two pearls are not like one another, both are irregular in form. While the Pearl of Allah is often referred to as looking like a brain, the Pearl of Elias resembles a misshapen giant's head rising up and out from the clam. Using a little....well, okay, maybe a lot, of imagination one can see a facial profile in the pearl.

Pearl of Elias Golem
Pearl of Elias "Golem"

What comes to my mind is "Golem", the fictitious Jewish clay monster.

Provenance of these Large Blister Pearls

Here, I must admit, the similarity ends. The Pearl of Allah is steeped with provenance, some of which is being challenged, but non-the-less it all makes for very interesting subject matter and adds value to this pearl. So besides being the world's largest pearl on record, it has a colorful history and anyone dealing with valuable collectibles knows that provenance is one of the most value-adding factors of an item.

The Pearl of Elias, which has only recently been named, has been virtually unknown until now, but still has an interesting true story, which I will be including on another page. During a spurt of inspiration, however, after first seeing the Pearl of Elias, I did write a fun and totally fictitious children's story about it called the "Giant's Pearl", but don't worry, it is so far-fetched, it will never be interpreted as fact....or at least, let's hope not.

Beautiful Large Blister Pearls

To me, these pearls are beautiful....I know not many will agree with me about that! But when one considers the tremendous amount of effort the mother clams went to in "giving birth and developing" these monster pearls, I have chosen to see their beauty....after all I know how difficult birthing and mothering can be as I am the mother of seven "pearls" myself.

So, in all these ways...origin, substance, color, size, shape, weight and being blister pearls...there are some remarkable similarities between these two very rare, valuable and large blister pearls and I think that's exciting.

Create a Free Page on About Your Natural Pearls or View Natural Pearls Found by Others

Obviously, I am super interested in pearls and would love hearing from anyone who has found natural pearls or large ones like these.

You may create a page on my site by sharing a photo and your story of finding a natural pearl or pearls here. Create as many pages as you like. There is a fast growing interest in natural pearls and I think this interest will only increase. As cultured pearls become more and more affordable and available, the focus will shift once again to God's sovereignly made natural pearls and they will become highly sought least that's what I think!

The PEARL OF ELIAS is for SALE. Contact me below if you are interested in purchasing this pearl which is still attached to the shell. It would be a great one-of-a-kind addition to any pearl loving collector's museum or collection.

Read more about Pearl of Elias, one of these large blister pearls.

Could this beauty be the world's largest NACREOUS blister pearl?

Pearl of Elias

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